To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education and the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) hosted a ‘Title IX 50th Anniversary Field Day’ for Washington D.C. and Baltimore-area students (ages 8 – 14 years old) to try new STEM activities, play new sports, hear from champion athletes and leaders, and learn how Title IX impacts their lives.
On June 23, 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was signed into law. Since then, the number of high school girls playing on their schools’ athletic teams has increased from just 295,000 to more than 3.4 million in recent years.
Today’s event was designed to inspire, educate, and empower athletes to advocate for the access and opportunities Title IX can and should provide.
The event’s interactive stations featured soccer, running, basketball and STEM stations. The soccer station included Gaby Vincent, midfielder for the Washington Spirit, and the basketball drills were led by Howard University’s women’s and men’s basketball team. The STEM activities were led by TechBridge Girls and the Smithsonian Science Education Center. STEM activities included making sports drinks and learning how to bandage an injury.
Throughout the field day, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten, and Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon affirmed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing gender equity and equality by ensuring the Department takes all necessary actions protect the rights of all students.
Secretary Cardona noted: “In no small part because of Title IX, our young women and girls can be anything you want to be. You can study anything you want to study. And you have the right to pursue your dreams. And that’s a good thing for young women and girls and young men and boys! The first 50 years of Title IX made our country more just and more equitable. Let’s work together to make sure the next 50 years are just as transformational!”
After the opening remarks, an athlete panel was moderated by three-time Ice Hockey Olympic medalist Meghan Duggan and featured 29-time Paralympic swimming medalist Jessica Long and the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history Elana Meyers Taylor. Both athletes shared reflections about how Title IX helped pave the way for them to become celebrated Olympians. Vice President Kamala Harris joined the event by engaging with students while they participated in STEM activities and then she successfully made a basketball shot alongside young athletes.
WSF President and three-time ice hockey medalist Meghan Duggan remarked: “Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a law that forever changed the face of sports, opening the doors for girls and women to have access and opportunity to play. Everyone here today is a benefactor of this law, including those of us on the stage. Fifty years ago, girls and women like us didn’t have the same opportunity to swim, play ice hockey, or bobsled. Title IX helped change that. We want to make sure Title IX stays strong! And we need the next generation – your generation – to help us do that.”
“Because of Title IX, women are afforded equal access to areas that have traditionally been dominated by men, such as STEM and athletics. This has opened the door to innovations in these fields as well as women role models and mentors that young people can look up to as trailblazers and leaders of industry,” said Deputy Secretary Marten. “Without Title IX, there is a chance that many of the women in this room would not be standing here today, leading. For that reason, we must not take this for granted. Thanks to Title IX, it is your right to take up space, to be the best you can be, and to make a difference in your community and our nation.”